Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday afternoon musings...


  • It is seriously gorgeous outside, and I'm glad I rode my bike into work today.  The 4.5 mile ride home will be a nice way to cap off the day.
  • This weekend's riding had one serious beatdown of a ride book-ended by two lazy recovery days on the bike to total about 160mi of riding.
  • Allergy season is coming.  Are you ready?
  • I finally was able to mix it up with the team on Timber Road during one slug-fests out there.  Very happy!
  • It's stuffy and probably 77 in our office building right now.
  • Last week felt like a super hard week on the bike, but the overall stress of the workouts was not terribly high.  Glad I've got a rest week this week.
  • PV continued with a very strong showing out at PIR and put me across the line first for the second week in a row. I <3 the team.
  • My wife has been under the weather for the past week and it hurts me to see her feel this way.  I'd gladly take her place if I could.
  • Hubris is a bitch. My knee started acting up two days after I posted this.  I'm still trying to sort out what's going on.
  • My "O.F." got together on Saturday for a joint birthday party for James and myself.  Was great fun and they surprised me with an awesome gift.  Silly details here!
  • I received an envelope in the mail on Friday from OBRA.  Inside was a sticker that said "ROAD:CAT3" along with my other details.  I'm now a very small fish in a very big pond filled with very fast fish.  At least I can cross off one of my goals for this year though. :)
  • It was silent at 6:50am when I got into the office.  Its now 3:36pm and again, it's silent.  I'm going home.
  • For whatever reason, this didn't publish until Tuesday morning, but I'm not changing the title.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Comeback Complete!


So last night, my journey back from my knee injury and subsequent surgery came to a close.  Tuesday was the first day of racing at PIR, and PV came out in force for the Cat 3 / 4 race.  Ty, Jeff, Flemming, Feig, Mitch Lee, B-Rat, Mitch Gold, Johnny, Kromonster and myself all lined up with 67 other racers to kick off the PIR season.

There were a few well represented groups out in the field tonight along with PV.  Ironclad, Team O, and Three Rivers all had some significant numbers.  Made for a painful night if you were flying solo as the average speed of the race was 26.5mph.

The race was a short one, being early season and still fighting for daylight.  10 Laps with a pair of hotspots.  My legs felt poor during warm up, so I let Ty know I'd wait for the finish if necessary.  The plan was to have Mitch attack early, and he did right from the gun drawing a mix of jeers and cheers from the field.   Once it was brought back it was pretty steady racing for most of the night.

Few attacks got away free, and PV made sure to be represented in all of them.  As with most early season races there were some tactical snafu's and learning experiences to be had. 

When it came down to the last lap, the pack was still together and teams were starting to get organized for the field sprint.  Ironclad and PV were controlling the front keeping the tempo high.  I pack surfed a bit and latched on my lead out man Brian with 2k to go.  The two of us hung to the left side of the field coming through the last corner and shot up the middle of the road on the final straight away.  The field went right and were bunched up against the infield wall making it hard to move around.

Brian showed some impressive power as he launched the two of us away from the field to the 200m mark, dropping me off to take the win by a good gap.  His lead out was so stellar that he hung on for second place after sounding like he was going to blow a lung in the final 200m.

I picked up my first win of the season, my first ever win in a 3/4 field, and my first win post surgery. It made for a good night at the Burrito Shack afterwards with the crew.  I may not have had the best legs last night, but I had the best teammates.

Thanks Dr. Rask, Dave McHenry, and Russell Cree!

A big thank you to Dr. Rask of Hillsboro Orthopedic, Dave McHenry of TAI, and Russell Cree of Upper Echelon for getting me back on the road.

-Side note and a bit of a soapbox.  A pair of crashes during the sprints made for some dicey moments last night.  One early on when some wheels got overlapped during a prime, which unfortunately happens. But another in the final sprint which sounded like it was mid pack?  Sprinting for 20th is reckless.  Attacking from mid pack probably won't do you any good.  Take the opportunity to ride in safely with your fellow racers at the end of a nice evening.  I do hope those involved in the wrecks heal up quickly!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Redefining Epic


The word Epic gets tossed around a lot in the world of cycling.  One can take a look at any of the cycling web publication, and quickly find a number of uses of the word describing a particular stage or one day event.  But if everything is becoming epic, then what does that make those days which true are?

This past Saturday was my defining of Epic.  De Ronde van Oeste Portlandia.... with my ride in to the start from Hillsboro, and the ride home from the finish.  85 miles, and it sounds like close to 8,000 feet of climbing.  I was wrecked when it was all over, but happy to have completed such a massive undertaking.

I made it the entire way up Brynwood, although I had to restart once due to a guy stalling out in front of me.  College I walked about 1/3 of.  I slogged through the rest of the climbs with some teammates, shared the misery of every 15% incline that was tossed our way.

It was a beautiful day, and it was amazing to see so many cyclists doing this crazy event just because it's there, and its Portland.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Love Thy Gloves


Portland Velo was fortunate enough to first make friends with, then work a sponsorship with the cats over at Ironclad Performance Wear.  You'll see a lot of us wearing their gloves and base layers our lounging after a race in one of the killer hoodies.

Ironclad makes some hardcore tough gear, and I was fortunate enough to be wearing a pair of gloves today when I had a momentary lapse of reason and pulled a totally boneheaded move.

Felt FC3My route today took me over a very small stretch of road which is basically gravel.  Like many road cyclists, after clearing the gravel section, I gently pressed my glove hand on my front tire to shear off any stuck glass, rocks, or sand that may have stuck to my tire and caused a puncture down the road.  After cleaning the front tire, I reached back to do my rear, a move I've done countless times over the years.... On my Felt.

VeloVie Vitesse 300SE (AKA Eater of Fingers)My VeloVie has a much different frame, and the triangle of space that my Felt has allowing me to clean my tire does not exist on my VeloVie.  In fact, the VeloVie has very little clearance at all and the wheel sits very close to the seat tube due to a cutout to allow wind flow around the back wheel.

There is about enough room between the tire and the seat tube to get a finger wedged in there.  I tested it.

Your body reacts to pain and stressful situations very quickly.  The moment my finger got stuck a rapid fire series of things happened in the next five to ten seconds.  First, the impulse to pull my hand out and the realization that no, it was indeed stuck.  Second, I could hear that my rear tire was locked and I was skidding, and losing speed rapidly.  Third, pump the front break gently to scrub more speed but not lock up both tires.  Forth, unclip both feet since I had no clue which side my balance was going to be on in the position I was in.

No evidenceOnce I managed to get stopped, I actually had to roll my bike  backwards while pulling my hand had gotten wedged so deep.  I couldn't feel a portion of my index finger and I wasn't looking forward to seeing the damage.  Imagine my surprise when I saw that my gloves were still intact, and other then a minor rub mark completely unharmed.

Pull my finger? I gently removed my glove and was shocked to only see a small pencil eraser sized gouge that was barely bleeding.  Sure, the finger was stiff and bruised and hurt like hell, but it was intact and functioning, and the feeling was rapidly returning.No wittiy remarks here.



My rear tire is now trainer fodder, a 4 inch strip worn down to the fibrous Vectran belting, but it got me 10 miles over to Bike'N'Hike in downtown Hillsboro where the guys let me change out to a new tire right in the store.  (Big thanks to Coleman and John for that.)

For the cost of a new tire, some Neosporin, a band-aid, and a crap load of pain, I was able to prove how bad ass Ironclad's gloves are. 

I'm not at the hospital right now because of them.

                    Preventing the results of your stupid actions.....